That said, I will discuss in this post some of the major illicit shenannigans by the thieving duo that we did discover. On to the story . . .
Information on Long and AC's activities poured in. It seemed we found something new daily. Long, for example, had a social security scam running; she cashed SS checks and other payments for her dead mother and various relatives. Long turned in fraudulent representation vouchers to the embassy for dinners and other events she never held--I would sign off each time, and then, as agreed, write a note to the investigators stating that I knew the voucher to be fraudulent but had signed it for the purposes of the investigation. AC helped corrupt hotel managers in the Maldives fill out work experience forms for "employees" who would get visas as temporary workers in the US. AC and the hotel managers would split the considerable fees charged the workers.
Most grotesque of all, Long used the severely handicapped and pretty little African girl, Zu, as a prop and a money-maker. Whenever Long and AC had guests over--my wife and I were frequently such--they would bring out Zu, have her say a few things, and jump around in a swing set they had rigged from the ceiling in the middle of the living room. They also had an array of educational toys and exercise equipment scattered about ostensibly used by Zu. Long would tell a tearful story of how she and AC had found Zu in a Cape Verdian orphanage where she lay abandoned in a corner, covered in filth. Zu had cerebral palsy, and the orphanage, Long said, wanted nothing to do with her, in essence waiting for her to die. Long and AC, according to Long and AC, had come forward magnanimously to adopt the child nobody wanted. The details would vary on occasion but those formed the core of the tale. Long also heaped praise on a local therapist who did wonders for little Zu.
The little girl served as Long's ticket to sainthood; the embassy community constantly praised her caring for Zu. Well, to use my favorite phrase in this saga, as it turned out, the truth was more than a little different.
No therapist helped Zu. It was yet another scam. Long and AC would produce and turn in fake receipts to the insurance company for payment, and--surprise!--keep the money. They also had submitted a large claim for a very sophisticated, expensive, and imported battery-powered wheelchair for Zu; that wheelchair, however, did not exist--at least not in Long's residence. As we found out, Long and AC had an old, beat up, locally made chair out back that they used to move Zu the few times she left the house--mostly she was in the indifferent care of one or another "adopted daughter."
One of the most hideous scenes involving Zu occurred on one of Long's trips to LA. Long brought along Zu and a couple of other "adopted Vietnamese daughters." This time we had her under surveillance. She was filmed arriving at LAX, the Vietnamese "daughters" were met and escorted away by the Vietnamese madam's employees. The diplomatic passports they had used got handed over to Long who brusquely passed Zu to one of the madam's female aides, saying, "Here, take this thing." Long then headed off to catch a plane to Washington DC to conduct business with her northern Virginia Iranian. Ostensibly in the US for a medical exam, Zu was actually there as a distraction for the INS officers to keep them from focussing too closely on the other "daughters." Long picked up Zu at LAX a few days later on her way back to Colombo.
It soon got personal for me. Our surveillance in Colombo revealed that Long and AC had rented a couple of houses for the temporary storage of visa clients. Indian and Vietnamese nationals would stay there, paying rent, of course, while waiting for AC to issue their visas. He had become more cautious, and would space out the issuances more so than in the past. These clients were told to remain inside; they, however, needed to eat. AC and Long had cars bring food to the houses with some of the drivers embassy employees--this confirmed the doctor's suspicions about the head of motor pool. Our surveillance team took photos of the cars and the drivers as they delivered food made in Long's kitchen by some of the Vietnamese women and girls; this food, of course, got paid for first by the US taxpayer, thanks to the fake representation event vouchers, and then by the applicants. While viewing some of these photos I noticed a very familiar car and driver. To be precise, I noticed my personal car and my personal driver lugging big pots of food--my desk for sex, and now my car, my gasoline, and my driver for deliveries! I was livid and told the RSO. Long had reached into my home for her scams.
It did not end there.
My Spanish mother-in-law visited us in Colombo on three or four occasions. On her last visit, she kept complaining about the cook and his young assistant, "They are listening to our conversations. Always standing behind the door. You should be careful with them." I assured her that they were just good servants, always ready to help. She used a colorful and hard-to-translate Spanish phrase. "No," she said, "son mas molestos que una mosca cojonera. Nos estan espiando."["No. They are more irritating than a fly on one's balls. They are spying on us."] It helps to have grown up under dictatorship when it comes to spotting spies.
One day, the young assistant cook, while putting dinner on the table, casually mentioned that he soon would leave my employ to go work in a Vietnamese restaurant in a place called "Oregami."
That caught my attention. I stopped looking at the spicy soup, raised my eyebrows, and asked, "Do you have a visa?"
"Oh, yes, most certainly, sir!" Then lowering his voice almost to a whisper, "But, sir, I am not supposed to talk about it."
"I see. Well, then, you better keep it secret."
As soon as the indiscreet servant went into the kitchen, I got up and drove myself back to the Embassy, asking one of the RSO's deputies to join me there. We went to the consular section and opened the visa files. Yes, indeed, there sat my assistant cook's approved visa application replete with faked supporting documentation; he was going to Medford, Oregon--the town AC had long ago mentioned as the place where he and Long hoped to open a Vietnamese restaurant. On a whim, I decided to look also for my cook's name. Yes, right there, his smiling face looked up at me from an approved visa application attached to a packet of fraudulent supporting paperwork. He, too, was Medford-bound.
In emails to Long--Why send email when you work two floors apart?--AC reported a "legal strategy" that would let them avoid punishment if caught. Worried that the operation had gotten too big, with too many facets and too many people involved, AC thought the time was coming to end it. AC the Legal Genius told Long that even if they quit the service they would be safe because they had committed their acts while having "diplomatic immunity." AC said he would leave his job after a few more "home runs," and go supervise the final set up of the Medford restaurant. That restaurant, in fact, was pretty far along, and soon would be ready for customers. He suggested they temporarily split: he to Oregon, and she to the cushy New Zealand assignment that BS had promised.
Our intrepid investigators placed cameras in the consular section to try to catch AC issuing crooked visas. His operation, however, had grown more sophisticated since the days when he had applicants deliver him notes. The "special visas" now got issued after hours with the help of the attractive Sri Lankan employee whom the detained Indian national at the airport had described. The cameras did catch this employee providing another service for AC: oral sex. All on tape.
With that cheerful image, I stop. I must decide how much to drag this out. There were lots of other shenanigans afoot, but it gets repetitive. Maybe if this gets picked up for an HBO miniseries, I will write in more of those details.
Anyhow, I might, or might not, take a break for a few days from this sorry saga, and write something about the horrific collapse of American foreign policy under the horrific Obama misadministration.